- Courtesy Photo / Texas Governor's Office
- Gov. Greg Abbott speaks at a press event.
The order interferes with the administration of federal immigration law, the Justice Department said in a petition filed with the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas in El Paso, according to Reuters.
The legal action was widely expected. U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland told Abbott in a letter Thursday that his order “violates federal law in numerous respects, and Texas cannot lawfully enforce the Executive Order against any federal official or private parties working with the United States.”
Civil rights groups also said they were likely to file suits to halt the measure on the grounds that it demanded officers commit racial profiling.
Abbott issued the order Wednesday, saying it was intended to stop the spread of COVID-19. However, Abbott has repeatedly said he won't issue a mask mandate even as hospitalizations rapidly increased. What's more, he issued a separate order on Thursday limiting cities' ability to impose rules curbing the spread of the virus.
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